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Direct Mail

Why Consumers Trust Direct Mail Marketing

When it comes to marketing, the drive to digital has been relentless. But ROI has been elusive as consumers’ trust in online ads continues to decline. 

According to a study from the Data & Marketing Association (DMA), the ROI of a direct mail campaign is 29%, with a response rate of 5.1%. These results are much higher than email, which attains only a 0.6% response rate. 

The study also showed that 42% of consumers read or scan direct mail before throwing anything away. In addition, 76% of consumers say they trust direct mail over digital channels when making purchasing decisions. 

As one of the top five most trusted advertising channels, direct mail marketing is making a comeback. But why do people prefer direct mail? 

1.  Our Brains

A growing body of evidence suggests consumers trust direct mail because of the unique way paper-based advertising connects with the parts of the brain that control how we feel and remember things. Brain imaging and eye-tracking studies show that our brains process paper-based advertising differently than digital advertising. These studies show that paper-based advertising, like direct mail, requires 21% less effort to understand and process, seems more authentic, and generates more emotion.

2. Personalization

Another reason consumers trust direct mail more than digital advertising is personalization. A recent study by found that 63% of Millennials and 58% of Gen X consumers are willing to share data with companies in exchange for personalized offers and discounts. Savvy marketers use this information to create personalized mail pieces, leading to higher ROI.

3. It’s Touchy

Direct mail ads are physical, which significantly impacts how consumers perceive the messages within them. We experience the messaging differently, more profoundly, in a printed piece versus text and images on a screen. And science has shown that what we touch influences our thoughts and feelings about them.

4. It Can Wait

People are bombarded daily with emails, popups, notifications, text messages, and the like—all of which force you to stop what you are doing and pay attention. Direct mail isn’t intrusive; it can be set aside and dealt with later. It also serves as a visual reminder, giving consumers repeated exposure to messaging for no additional cost. 

Expanded Marketing Strategy

Consider integrating direct mail with your digital initiatives to get the best of both worlds. The evidence supporting a blended marketing strategy is overwhelming, especially in a local  market. 

As digital channels become increasingly too competitive and pricey and online audiences get harder to reach, businesses need a better solution. Direct mail and other forms of print advertising remain a reliable choice. Direct mail is a highly effective and flexible addition to any marketing strategy. n

About the Author

Diane Martin

Diane Martin is the owner of Direct Marketing Solutions (DMS). DMS delivers a range of services to help businesses succeed, including printing, design, mailing lists, and fulfillment. Our direct mail campaigns are designed to reach your target audience. With Every Door Direct Mail, we can help you reach new audiences cost-effectively. Businesses can also save on postage, getting even more out of their marketing budget. Let DMS help your business succeed with our direct mail marketing solutions.